Friday, November 20, 2009

FSOTD #52/Lay Down Sally (1977)

1977 was a great year for pop music.   Classic rock was churning along, with the likes of Pink Floyd (Animals), Foreigner (Foreigner), and Steely Dan (Aja) dominating rock radio airplay.   New wave was bubbling up: Think Talking Heads '77 and Elvis Costello's My Aim is True.  And sister disco?  She was in full swing: The Bee Gees, Thelma Houston, KC & The Sunshine Band.  Debuting in December of 1977,  Saturday Night Fever was the first high water mark for disco, which over the next 5 years would finish its peak with Michael Jackson's Off The Wall, then fade into a melange of boogie, booze, blow and bad clothes.  And changing musical tastes. 

1977 was also the year Eric Clapton released Slow Hand, the 3X Platinum album whose black and white cover features Eric's left hand on the neck of his guitar.  But better than that, it has a bunch o' great songs:  "Wonderful Tonight", "Cocaine", "The Core" and today's FSOTD "Lay Down Sally"Since it's a Friday song of the day,  we used our house pick to select a third consecutive song from 1977, turning today's piece into something of a minor homage to the year.  And it provides another opportunity for a cap-doff to Yvonne Elliman, who sang backing vocals on Eric's album (as previously noted in FSOTD #51). 

Slow Hand is also one of the very few albums whose title is also the performer's nickname.  There was no Beatles album named Fab Four, no Jerry Lewis disc called The Killer.  But there is Slow Hand.  There may be a tale as to why Clapton is called "Slow Hand", but if you want some audio evidence, just listen to "Lay Down Sally".  His phrasing throughout the tune is what it's all about.  Tasty, tasty guitar work.

"Lay Down Sally" peaked at #3 in the US.   The album made it all the way to #2.  Thanks for reading FSOTD #52.

thanks to wikipedia

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